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CD calculator: How much interest will you earn?

Calculate how much your CD can earn with this easy-to-use interest rate calculator.

Use this CD calculator to calculate how much interest you can earn over the CD’s term. Input your planned deposit amount, the interest rate and term in years, and your projected earnings will appear based on how often it compounds interest.

*Rates from the Finder comparison table.

How do I use the CD calculator?

Fill in the following fields:

  • Deposit amount. This is how much money you want to deposit into the CD. Most CDs have an opening deposit requirement, typically between $100 and $2,500, but you can choose to exceed the opening deposit minimum.
  • Interest rate. The interest rate is the rate at which your deposited amount will earn. Add the rate for the CD you’re considering, but pay attention to the details, as the rate your bank offers might change depending on the term length and how much you deposit.
  • Term length. This is the number of months or years your funds will be locked away. The shortest CD terms offer lower interest rates, while the best APYs tend to be between 12 to 18 months.

How is interest calculated on a CD?

Interest is calculated at a fixed rate and multiplied by the amount of money in the CD. Most CDs compound interest on a daily or monthly basis. This means you’ll earn interest on your already earned interest.
With compound interest, you’ll continue to rack up interest until your CD matures.

How to calculate your CD’s interest

If you’d rather calculate your CD’s interest by hand, follow the steps below to find the information for this equation:

A = P(1+r/n)nt

  • P is the principal balance, so enter your deposit amount.
  • r is your CD’s interest rate written as a decimal, so take your interest rate and move the decimal to the left two times. For example, if your interest rate is 2%, r is 0.02.
  • n is the number of times your CD will compound each year. Enter 365 if your CD compounds daily, 12 if it compounds monthly, 4 if it compounds quarterly or 1 if it compounds yearly.
  • t is the length of your CD term in years. If your CD term is less than a year, divide 365 by the length of your term in days to get your CD term in years. For example, if your CD has a 90-day term, t is 0.25 years (90/365).
  • A is how much your CD will be worth at maturity, including your deposit. This is the number we’ll be solving for.

Let’s say you make a $5,000 deposit in a one-year CD, earning a 2% interest rate compounded daily. Here’s how you would calculate it using the order of operations:

  • A = $5,000 (1+0.02/365) ^ (365*1)
  • A = $5,000 (1+0.00005479452) ^ (365*1)
  • A = $5,000 (1.00005479452) ^ (365*1)
  • A = $5,000 (1.02020078103)
  • A = $5101.00

Your CD would be worth $5,101 at maturity, which means you earned $101 in interest.

How much interest will I earn on a CD?

Here’s how much interest you’ll earn if you put $500 in a CD for up to five years — or 60 days — taking into consideration the national average rates(1) and applying a monthly compounding rate.

Deposited amountTermNational APYTotal earned interest
$5006 months 1.57%$3.49
$50012 months 1.81%$9.02
$50036 months 1.41%$21.12
$50060 months 1.39%$35.70

While those rates are solid, there are higher-yielding options out there. Here’s the earning potential when you apply it to some of the best CD rates in the current market.

Deposited amountTermAPYEarnings w/ monthly compounding interest
$5006 months5.76%$14.57
$50012 months5.60%$28.73
$50036 months5.00%$80.74
$50060 months4.59%$128.71

Compare CD rates

Narrow down top CDs by opening deposits, APYs and popular terms. For an even closer comparison, tick the Compare box on up to four options to see features side by side.

1 - 6 of 14
Name Product 6-month APY 1-year APY 5-year APY Minimum deposit to open
Crescent Bank CDs
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Crescent Bank CDs
Earn competitive rates up to 4.85% APY (annual percentage yield) on terms ranging from 1 to 5 years. Pay $0 maintenance fees. Member FDIC.
Alliant Credit Union CDs
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Alliant Credit Union CDs
Lock in rates as high as 5.15% APY with a low $1,000 minimum deposit. Compounded monthly. FDIC insured.
Western Alliance Bank 12 months CDs through Raisin
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Western Alliance Bank 12 months CDs through Raisin
Get 5.05% APY on a 12 month CD, and earn an APY that’s higher than the national average. Pay no fees and just a $1 minimum deposit. FDIC insured.
Valley Direct Online CD
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Valley Direct Online CD
Earn 4.50% APY on a 12 month CD. FDIC insured per depositor, per account ownership category.
Quontic Bank CDs
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Quontic Bank CDs
Lock in a high rate. Minimum of $500 required to open. Open your account in 3 minutes or less. Member FDIC.
Ponce Bank CD through Raisin
Finder Rating: 4.9 / 5: ★★★★★
Ponce Bank CD through Raisin
Snag the highest APYs on the market for the shortest CD terms via Raisin. FDIC insured.

3 things to know before opening a CD

CDs can be a safe way to grow your savings and avoid the temptation of spending. But before you lock your money away in a CD, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Early withdrawal penalties. CDs offer banks stability and are valuable to banks, and if you withdraw your funds early, you’ll pay early withdrawal fees. This can mean forking up around 180 days’ worth of earned interest.
  2. Don’t lock up everything. CDs lock your funds away, and if you have an emergency and need those funds sooner than planned, you may lose out on a ton of earned interest due to penalties. Make sure you keep some money in an accessible savings account for emergencies.
  3. CDs aren’t for everyone. If you frequently access your savings for expenses or prefer easier access to your money, a CD isn’t the best choice — unless you want to keep your money locked away from temptation. Instead, consider a high-yield savings account, as these earn high rates but offer more access to your funds
  4. .

A photo of bethanyhickey

Consider CD laddering to maximize earnings

CD laddering is a strategy that involves buying multiple CDs with varying maturity dates and interest rates. For example, you could buy a one-year CD with $1,000, then a two-year term with $1,000. Once the one-year CD matures, you can invest that money into another one-year CD, and then you'll have two CDs that mature at the same time. When they mature at the same time, you can then take all the money you've earned from both CDs and invest it into a longer CD with a potentially higher interest rate. In short, it's a way to save up more money for longer CDs with better rates.

— Bethany Hickey, Writer, Banking and Loans.

Can you lose money with a CD?

No, you won’t lose money by opening a CD. CDs don’t have monthly fees and are a rather safe way to store money and earn interest, as long as it’s FDIC- or NCUA-insured.

There are only two potential ways you could lose money:

  1. If you withdraw funds early, you’ll pay a withdrawal penalty.
  2. If interest rates increase, you’ll lose out on a higher rate. This is because CD rates are fixed, unlike savings accounts that offer variable rates that change with the market.

Frequently asked questions

The term I chose is for 30 months. How should I enter that?
The calculator recognizes terms in years, not months. In this case, you would choose a 2.5-year term for 30 months.

I want to make at least $500 in interest; how would I figure that out?
You would have to play with the numbers, particularly the term length, until you come out with the earnings you want. If you want to earn $500 quickly, you’ll have a better chance of hitting your goal by depositing a large amount.

Is there a 6% CD?
No. Even the best CDs in the market top out at 5% APY, possibly reaching 5.50%. However, rates that high typically require large deposit amounts, often over $100,000.

Some international banks offer accounts with rates as high as 10% to 12%, and you can also find some high-yield savings accounts with rates around and above 5% APY.

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